With new “buy button,” Twitter positions itself for the all-important holiday season

Today, Twitter officially launched its “buy button,” a feature it has been testing that will allow users to click on a brand’s promoted tweet and directly purchase an advertised item.

By rolling out the “buy button,” Twitter’s beat Facebook to the punch by becoming the first social media platform to offer a direct response sales route. Here’s what the feature looks like:

Clicking on the “buy” button takes the user to a purchase page with details about the item. If they click on “buy now,” they’ll get prompted to enter shipping and payment information and then the purchase is completed. 

That’s a pretty big development for the world of social media. Until now, the direct response options on Facebook and Twitter have mostly focused on call-to-action buttons or lead generation. By offering the first real direct sales channel on social media, Twitter has an opportunity to really prove itself as a valuable platform to brands and direct-response advertisers, who can now use it both as a marketing and sales platform. 

“This positions Twitter as an incremental revenue generator for e-commerce brands, and it should help mitigate what’s been a fairly inconsistent performance record across a variety of brands for the last few months,” says Dayna Moon, senior director of social at digital agency 3Q digital. “With this release, I think you can expect to see a slight shift in budgets — especially if the handful of test users show good results — and a somewhat rosier holiday season for Twitter as it attempts to make inroads into Facebook’s direct response market.”

For now, Twitter is releasing the “buy button” feature to a select number of artists, nonprofits and brands for testing purposes. But come the holidays, you can expect to see it being used by almost every major retailer as Twitter searches to close out the year with a financial bang.

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